Classification and comparative analysis of English negative affixes — страница 3

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expected [6]. From the present definition we see that the first meaning of these words is better applicable to affixes, and this meaning should be the criteria for figuring out negative affixes. Our next task is to see, which affixes are considered to be negative. According to the previous statement they are the following: a-, ant(i)-, dis-, dys-, in-, mal-, mis-, nega-, non-, un- [9]. From this list we can see, that they are all prefixes. So arises the question, is the negative function in English world-building performed only by prefixes. If we consult other sources we see that there is one suffix changing the meaning of the word to the opposite: -less (motion-motionless) [3, 137]. And we also add it to this list. As for the prefixes, de- can also carry the idea of

oppositeness, and il-, im- and ir- must be added too, as they are the allomorphs of in-. So let us see what their meanings are. So if we consult Longman Dictionary of English Language and culture, the result will be the following. a-: (showing an opposite or absence of something) not; without: amoral (=not moral) anti-: 1 apposed to; against: antinuclear (apposing the use of atomic weapons and power) 2 opposite of: an anticlimax (=an unexciting ending of the expected climax) contra-: opposite (plants is contradiction to animals) de-: (in verbs and nouns) (showing an opposite): a depopulated area (which all or most of the population has left) dis-: (showing an opposite or negative): I disapprove (=do not approve) il-: illogical (=not logical) im-: immobilize in-: (especially in

adjectives and nouns) (showing a negative, an apposite, or a lack) not: insensible ir-: not: irregular (=not regular) mal-: bad or badly: a malformed (=wrongly shaped) limb mis-: 1 bad or badly: misfortune; 2 wrong or wrongly: a miscalculation 3 (showing an opposite or the lack of something): I mistrust (=do not trust) him non-: (especially in adjectives and nouns) (showing a negative) not: a non-smoker (=someone who does not smokes) un-: 1 (especially in adjectives and adverbs) showing a negative, a lack, or an opposite) not: unfair; 2 (especially in verbs) (showing an opposite): undress (take one’s clothes off) less (in adjectives): 1 without a ---: a childless couple (= who have no children); 2 that never ---s or can not be ---ed: helpless (= can not be helped) [6] For the

prefixes il-, im-, ir- there are no definitions in the dictionary, as they all refer to the suffix in-. The aspect of their difference is explained by allo-morphemic theory. When studying morphemes, we should distinguish morphemes as generalized lingual units from their concrete manifestations, or variants in specific textual environments; variants of morphemes are called “allo-morphs”. The allo-morphemic theory distinguishes morphemes according to their concrete realization. In the study of morphemes it was developed in Descriptive Linguistic by means of distributional analysis. There are three types of distribution then: contrastive distribution, non-contrastive distribution and complementary distribution. Contrastive distribution means that morphs express different

meanings in identical environments, e.g.: He started laughing – He starts laughing. The morphs are said to be in non-contrastive distribution if they express identical meaning in identical environments; such morphs constitute ‘free variants’ of the same morpheme, e.g.: learned – learnt. The morphs are in complementary distribution when they express identical meanings in different environments, e.g.: He started laughing – He stopped laughing; such morphs constitute variants, or allo-morphs of the same morpheme [4, 60-61]. Allo-morphemic theory plays an important role in the descriptive analysis of negative affixes. One of the most active negative affixes is in-. Its allomorphs are il-, im-, ir-. That means that they carry on the same meaning, but they are attached to

different stems. It can be a great problem for English learners, therefore it is important to clarify the rules of allo-morphemic affixes. The in- changes or is assimilated to il- if the stem begins with l, as in illuminate; to im- before b, as in imbibe, before m, as in immediate, before p, as with implant; and to ir- before r, as in irrigate. So the distribution of the allo-morphs concerned is complementary. It is quite reasonable to give the examples to these affixes and the definitions of these words given in the dictionary. atypical: not typical; different from what is usual: Her reaction to the drug was atypical. antiaircraft: directed against enemy aircraft: antiaircraft missiles contraindication: a physical sign or condition that makes it inadvisable to take or continue